Food hawking banned in Isiolo after two cholera cases are confirmed

Isiolo deputy governor Lowasa

Isiolo Deputy Governor James Lowasa addresses journalists at Game in Burat ward on November 21, 2022. The county government has banned food hawking following cholera outbreak. 

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu I Nation Media Group

The Isiolo health department has banned food hawking following cholera outbreak and confirmation of two cases in the municipality.

Deputy Governor James Lowasa who also doubles up as Health Executive said the move was meant to curb the spread of the disease as food sold under unhygienic conditions could be contaminated.

“We have directed Public health officers to ensure hygiene through proper waste disposal,” Mr Lowasa said, while asking residents to observe proper hygiene by boiling drinking water and thoroughly washing hands before preparing meals.

Slum dwellers on the outskirts of Isiolo town lack adequate sanitation facilities resulting to poor disposal of waste which puts them at high risk of contracting the disease.

On Tuesday, Mr Lowasa directed the Isiolo Water and Sanitation Company (Iwasco) to ensure treatment of water supplied to homesteads.

He appealed to members of the public with diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration symptoms to visit the nearest health facilities for treatment.

The food hawking ban has caused discomfort among traders in the foodstuff vending business who have accused the county government of exposing them to suffering.

“It is sad that the county government has ordered us out of the streets while we do not have alternative sources of livelihoods,” one of the vendors lamented.

The health department, the vendors said, should have sensitized them on hygiene and not stopping their sources of income.

“Where will our children get food from?” another posed, lamenting over the harsh economic times occasioned by the prolonged drought.

Asked if the county had plans to assist the vendors, Mr Lowasa said those affected will be considered for food provisions to be distributed after a supplementary budget is passed by the county assembly.